Westminster business owners and residents are shocked and saddened by the death Tuesday of Stan Ruchlewicz, Westminster's economic development administrator who spent the last 10 years in the task of revitalizing the downtown area.
Ruchlewicz came to Westminster in May 2001 from Havre de Grace, where he worked as the town's director of planning and zoning for more than a decade.
Patch has gathered thoughts and memories from local business owners and co-workers.
From Dave Baldwin, Owner of Furnace Hills Coffee Company
Stan was an avid Arsenal Soccer fan. We spent the first part of every conversation comparing where our two teams were and really had a great time talking when they played each other. Stan had a fascination with England, having visited there several times. He would share the trips in detail and what he remembered of his times there.
When it came to Westminster, he knew what was going on with Main Street like no one else. He knew what the going rates were for rents and sales. He was instrumental in helping businesses move to better locations. He was always thinking of ways to give us more visible profiles and drive business our way. He was a consummate networker and enjoyed talking business with us. I am going to miss not only a great business resource in Stan, but a good friend as well.
From Lyndi McNulty, Owner of Gizmo's Art
I will always remember Stan, walking down Main Street, conversing with shop owners. He was also a great photographer.
From Kevin Dayhoff, Former Westminster Mayor, Artist, Writer
Stan was recognized by many as a leading authority on planning and economic development for small communities. Because he was also an artist, he understood the value of a vibrant arts and culture presence in a community and he was good at thinking out of the box. He had a wonderful sense of humor and he clearly understood that it was not good enough to be the best, you had to be nice. Stan was one of the nicest public officials I have ever worked with in my 40 years of working with the public. I'm really sad about Stan's passing. It is a great personal loss for me and a huge loss for the Westminster.
From Fred Cullum, Havre de Grace
Before the City of Westminster was fortunate enough to get Stan, the City of Havre de Grace enjoyed his talent. Stan was the director of Planning and Economic Development in Havre de Grace when I was first elected to the City Council in 1995. I can't say I ever had the pleasure of working with a nicer and more dedicated person than Stan. May he rest in peace and be active in "Heaven's Main Street." My sincere sympathy to his family and the citizens of Westminster. (Cullum posted this comment on another Patch article reporting on Ruchlewicz's death)
Julie Ballard, owner of Ballard Bunting Boutique
Every time I had a question about business or what to do or who I needed to contact to make something happen, I emailed Stan. And within an hour or less, I had the answer. He always stopped into Ballard Bunting Boutique to drop off flyers personally and chat for a bit. The nicest man ever and the most concerned about Westminster and our small business community. He will be so missed by me and everyone else in town. God be with his family in this time of sorrow. (Ballard posted this comment on another Patch article reporting on Ruchlewicz's death)
Read more about Ruchlewicz's esteemed career in the Baltimore Sun.
We will update this article as other business owners and residents continue to share their memories of Stan Ruchlewicz. Please tell us your memories in the comment section below. You can also upload photos and video of Stan by clicking on Upload Photos under the photo in this article, or email to email@example.com.